British Tourism & Travel Show (BTTS) has announced that this year’s edition of the show has been postponed until March 2021, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The UK and Ireland domestic travel trade event will now run next year on 24-25 March at the NEC Birmingham.
The event said the decision comes due to the “magnitude and unprecedented scale” of the Covid-19 outbreak with those working in, and supplying, the travel, tourism, hospitality, and leisure sectors among “the worst hit”.
It added that while the UK’s strict lockdown measures are expected to ease over the coming months, it expects social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings will remain for the foreseeable future.
David Maguire, BTTS’s group event director, said: “Like all businesses, we have been closely following the rapidly changing developments during these difficult times.
“Whilst we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by the autumn, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run this year’s British Tourism and Travel Show. Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better event in 2021.”
He added: “We appreciate how important BTTS is to the industry it serves and are very sorry to disappoint the thousands of attendees that were planning on exhibiting and visiting.
However, the success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, speakers and visitors has always been our priority and we are hoping that everyone will get behind this tough but necessary decision.”
Maguire added that the “good news” is that much of the event planning is already in place, and the event will go into 2021 with an “incredible amount of good will and support”.
The event said the decision to postpone has been “widely supported” by the show’s exhibitors and associations, including Visit Wales, Tourism Ireland, Coach Tourism Association (CTA), Albatross Travel, Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Liverpool, Action Tours, ITO Tours, Ashley & Newey, Advantage Now, Greatdays Travel Group, Roeville, Warner Leisure Hotels, Cotswold Tourism, and Devon’s Top Attractions, among others.